I am a firm believer that what is real remains. And what is false falls away.
There is no reason to fear the increasing studies suggesting the possibility that the miracles in the Jesus story were popular themes that circulated during that era.
Prophecies of a savior to come. Virgin births. A special name. Heavenly portents. Precociousness. Multiplying food. Turning water to wine. Healing. Walking on water. Angels. Demons. The ghosts of ancient heroes appearing. Going to heaven and back. Being crucified. A strange death. Resurrection.
None of these are peculiar to Jesus.
In fact… hahaha… I’ve talked and even worked with very popular Christian leaders who claim some of these same things for their own lives. Yes, I’m serious! Things like: their birth was prophesied and what their mission would be; a miraculous or unusual birth; assigned a special name; angels and demons; going to Heaven and back; talking to the ghosts of biblical characters; transporting; doing miracles; etcetera.Why do they do that? To impute eternal and universal significance to their lives and mission.
I appreciate the efforts of people like Reza Aslan who reinvestigate the life of Jesus in search of the historical Jesus… an admirable and worthwhile endeavor honored among many Christian theologians, including the great Albert Schweitzer. The criticism Aslan is receiving, re his credentials, expertise, research, is in my opinion a spurious and embarrassing attempt to undermine his potential impact on Jesus studies and popular Christianity. Some more conservative believers might like to know that at least he believes there was a historical Jesus. Many involved in the demythologization of the Jesus story don’t even allow for that anymore.
So… the superpowers of Jesus. They were appropriate for his day.